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Old 12-27-2013, 07:11 PM   #161
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1st day of retirement was Tuesday... came down with flu... today is Friday, plumber fixed leak yesterday and today came back to replace water heater.... crap!
Look on the upside, did not have to ask for a "sick" day off. Get well soon.
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Old 01-04-2014, 09:42 PM   #162
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Crawled under DW's SUV to see if I could locate the source of the leak in her windshield washer reservoir. Found a half-inch long tear in the bottom corner of the tank, probably as a result of the collision she had with a feral hog a few weeks ago.

After removing a couple of underbody panels, scraping a few knuckles reaching into the tiny area to get to the three mounting bolts, I finally got the tank removed. I cut a small piece of plastic from one of the mounting flanges and 'welded' that into the tear using small soldering iron. No more leak.
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My first plumbing repair using PEX
Old 01-04-2014, 11:16 PM   #163
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My first plumbing repair using PEX

For months now, the faucet on the basement utility sink has taken some 'ooomph' to turn off w/o a drip. For a longer time, I've been thinking that a single handled faucet, like most kitchens, sure would be easier to get the hot/cold/flow adjusted, and why not get one with a spray attachment?

So I picked up the cheapest one at Home Depot, and started on it a few days ago. Replacing a faucet on a sink with access under and on one side shouldn't be too hard, right? Well, this is plumbing, so...

I turn off the shut off valves, and one is leaking. I go to tighten the nut.... and the nut crumbles (can't they make these out of something that doesn't corrode?). Fortunately, it held together enough to just drip in the off position. So back to HD the next day (New Year's Eve) to buy a new valve.

Well, this is cpvc that I ran between the water heater and this sink, and the valves are a push-on-compression fitting to the cpvc. Long story a bit shorter, between steps I took to get this new valve on, I had other problems and had to jerry-rig it so I could get it closed up so I could turn the main water back on until a more permanent fix could be made. One of the problems was, when I disconnected the faucet hose from the other shut-off, the threaded stem of the valve broke off inside the hose (arghhhh).

Since I had to hack things up further to get it back together so I could turn the water back on, I decided to just completely replace the cpvc and all those joints to get from heater to sink with PEX. So a couple of shark-bite connectors on the copper stubs from the water heater to get the PEX to the sink, and a couple of shut-off valves that push on to PEX, and then connect the hoses to the faucet. The push on connectors and the PEX was really EZ. I must say, even though I know these things are tested, it's just hard to feel confident in a push on connector. There's just nothing solid feeling about it. Oh well, gonna have to trust it.

Even installing the faucet was a struggle. Had to enlarge the holes to make room for the spray hose fitting, and after drilling holes for the mounting studs, I find the holes are right next to webbing in the sink that interferes with the large flange nuts they provide. Ended up filling a flat side on a washer and using a standard hex nut.

But all's well that ends well. It really is nice to use a single handle to get the flow and temperature where I want it, and the sprayer is handy.

Plumbing - arggggghhhhh!

-ERD50
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Old 01-05-2014, 03:58 AM   #164
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After finding that talking on a cell phone while driving is illegal in Illinois, I decided to fire up the hands free sync system in my F150. I used it for a couple of years, but it quit about a year ago and I didn't bother to fix it. Anyway, It's not a big repair (maybe not a repair at all). After consulting the internet, I found that several others have had the same problem and fixed it by resetting the sync system. So I found the fuse box, found the right fuse, pulled it out for a few minutes, and put it back in. It fired up, re-paired the Sync and phone and I have hands free cell phone again.

I swear that the internet has the answers to any repair problem
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Old 01-05-2014, 07:07 AM   #165
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the shower diverter was completely jammed up with mineral deposits...semi-filled a small plastic bag with vinegar and tied it up around the faucet spout making sure the diverter knob and spout were submerged in the vinegar....took about 10 minutes of soaking to get the diverter working again...cost was probably around 25 cents...wonder what a plumber would have charged?
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:00 AM   #166
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the shower diverter was completely jammed up with mineral deposits...semi-filled a small plastic bag with vinegar and tied it up around the faucet spout making sure the diverter knob and spout were submerged in the vinegar....took about 10 minutes of soaking to get the diverter working again...cost was probably around 25 cents...wonder what a plumber would have charged?
Oh...probably about $150-$200!
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:07 AM   #167
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Between keggs vinegar fix, ERD50's plumbing expedition we have good example why plumbers make a mint. Have not seen first hand war stories of digging through the septic system yet.

A few years ago had some leaking and as result sagging sewer pipe under the house floor. I was not interested in jackhammering up the subfloor to replace the clay piping. Several plunbers insisted that was the only fix at a cost huge mess and equally huge bill.

The low coast solution was to insert an epoxy impregnated sleeve, with a balloon inside it to inflate to pipe dimensions and the pressure raising the sagging pipe to be straight. Then deflate the balloon,retract, and all is well.

A national plumbig outfit from three towns away came in, installed a new cleanout outside the house, installed the pipe liner. All in two days time and at 1/3 the cost of all other proposals. DW was the happiest, no inside mess to clean up, no need for new floor, the price of which would have been in addition to the plumbing job.
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Old 01-05-2014, 08:50 AM   #168
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Plumbing - arggggghhhhh!

-ERD50
This is why I consider having enough money to hire a plumber one of life's great luxuries.

Most repairs around the house I will at least attempt but for me plumbing is simply not worth the BP rise and frustration. I'd rather just write a check.
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Old 01-05-2014, 09:19 PM   #169
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This is why I consider having enough money to hire a plumber one of life's great luxuries.

Most repairs around the house I will at least attempt but for me plumbing is simply not worth the BP rise and frustration. I'd rather just write a check.

My sewage ejector pump just went out. I agree - this may be one of those that I just write the check
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:15 AM   #170
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I started up my old minivan, which has not been driven for a couple of months. I intended to take it out for a drive of perhaps 10 miles to exercise it, but had to return home because the engine ran rough.

Found out that another fuel injector had quit. The first one quit a couple of years ago. I reported about that here. Same quick diagnosis pinpointed the culprit. Same luck that this is another one on the same forward facing 3-cylinder bank of the V6. If it were one hidden behind the intake manifold, I would have to send the car to the junk yard, as it takes too much work for this old car. Darn, it only got 170K miles.

A replacement injector for $35 from eBay is on its way. Replacement should not take longer than 1/2 hr, same as last time.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:10 AM   #171
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I started up my old minivan, which has not been driven for a couple of months. I intended to take it out for a drive of perhaps 10 miles to exercise it, but had to return home because the engine ran rough.

Found out that another fuel injector had quit. The first one quit a couple of years ago. I reported about that here. Same quick diagnosis pinpointed the culprit. Same luck that this is another one on the same forward facing 3-cylinder bank of the V6. If it were one hidden behind the intake manifold, I would have to send the car to the junk yard, as it takes too much work for this old car. Darn, it only got 170K miles.

A replacement injector for $35 from eBay is on its way. Replacement should not take longer than 1/2 hr, same as last time.
This is why an old beater car is often realistically worth more to the owner than to anyone else (and, conversely, why I can't buy a "just as good" replacement car for the Blue Book price). These small known idiosyncrasies/problems have already been identified and their fix is often known (or you've figured out a workaround). Buying someone else's beater means you'll have to discover all the landmines yourself.
I've had old cars that would have been nearly impossible to steal, or to operate for more than a couple of hours if you didn't know the tricks.
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Old 01-06-2014, 03:54 AM   #172
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Fixed our fridge that was failing to defrost. Contrary to the recommendations of a few fridge mechanics who have limited time to fault find, the entire evaporator assembly did not need to be changed out at great expense. Instead it was a $15 temperature sensor suffering from water ingress and telling the fridge computer that there was no iceberg :-). I had great fun fault taking my time finding it with my trusty multimeter and the service manual (thanks Mr Internet!). I even rigged up a temporary fix of a resistor bank to fool the defrost circuit into working on command while I wait for the part to come in (Samsung fridge parts are hard to source in my area).
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Old 01-06-2014, 08:53 AM   #173
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... Same luck that this is another one on the same forward facing 3-cylinder bank of the V6. If it were one hidden behind the intake manifold, I would have to send the car to the junk yard, as it takes too much work for this old car. Darn, it only got 170K miles.

A replacement injector for $35 from eBay is on its way. Replacement should not take longer than 1/2 hr, same as last time.
Good job. Amazing that injectors are just $35 to an end user. For us DIY types, a 4 cyl engine really makes things easier. I recall looking at our old V6 mini-van - I couldn't follow the spark plug wires on those back 3 cylinders, any repair back there gets beyond what I want to tackle.

But changing plugs on a couple other 4 cyl cars in the family was an easy 10 minute job. Diagnosing things is a (relative) snap when you can get to everything.

-ERD50
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:06 AM   #174
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I started up my old minivan, which has not been driven for a couple of months. I intended to take it out for a drive of perhaps 10 miles to exercise it, but had to return home because the engine ran rough.

Found out that another fuel injector had quit. The first one quit a couple of years ago. I reported about that here. Same quick diagnosis pinpointed the culprit. Same luck that this is another one on the same forward facing 3-cylinder bank of the V6. If it were one hidden behind the intake manifold, I would have to send the car to the junk yard, as it takes too much work for this old car. Darn, it only got 170K miles.

A replacement injector for $35 from eBay is on its way. Replacement should not take longer than 1/2 hr, same as last time.
Was this an old mid to late-90's Chrysler 3.0 van? We had one that had ~200K on it and I had to replace several injectors over time. Other than that, and cleaning out the throttle body once or twice, we had the van quite a long time and sold it for $1000.00 in 2007 or thereabouts. What a workhorse.
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Old 01-06-2014, 09:53 AM   #175
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Fixed our fridge that was failing to defrost. Contrary to the recommendations of a few fridge mechanics who have limited time to fault find, the entire evaporator assembly did not need to be changed out at great expense. Instead it was a $15 temperature sensor suffering from water ingress and telling the fridge computer that there was no iceberg :-). I had great fun fault taking my time finding it with my trusty multimeter and the service manual (thanks Mr Internet!). I even rigged up a temporary fix of a resistor bank to fool the defrost circuit into working on command while I wait for the part to come in (Samsung fridge parts are hard to source in my area).
Awesome job. Extra points for the temporary fix. And people wonder what we do all day.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:14 PM   #176
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@samclem, ERD50, & aja888,

My minivan is a 1995 Nissan. Not too many are on the road anymore. I know a family who can use it, and will give it to them soon.

Transverse V6 engines are terrible to work on. Many transverse 4-cyl engines are not easily accessible. I loved working on my 69 Mustang and 75 Datsun 280Z. They had an inline-6 engine, and with rear-wheel drive, were so easy to work on.
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Old 01-06-2014, 12:39 PM   #177
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.......... probably as a result of the collision she had with a feral hog a few weeks ago. ............
Somehow it always comes down to bacon.
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Old 01-07-2014, 07:16 AM   #178
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This AM, DW woke me to say that it is -10 degree outside and 58 degrees in the house - the furnace is out.
I recalled hearing that snow can build up higher than the PVC intake for the furnace, so I checked that first. Sure enough, ice and snow had blocked the intake. I cleared it, shut off the furnace with the breaker, then turned it back on. It cycled though its checks and re-lit! Coulda been ugly.
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Old 01-07-2014, 10:35 AM   #179
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I noticed the railing on my front wood deck was leaning out a bit in a 10 foot area. I found that the 2X10 faceplate (holding the railing) was starting to separate from the rest of the deck....
I put in 3 lag eye bolts into house studs in the appropriate area and attached ratchet straps from eye bolts to the railing and pulled it back against the structure of the deck. Then went and drilled holes and put carriage bolts through and secured tightly - removed straps and all is now true and sturdy! This is the kind of repair you need to catch early...
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Old 01-07-2014, 11:50 AM   #180
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Gas clothes dryer began to lose heat. There was still some heat, but it was less than normal, and clothes were not getting completely dry. I diagnosed the problem to be failing solenoid switches. It took about 1/2 hour to replace the solenoids. Cost of parts was $10. Cost of a new dryer would have been $550.
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